I usually write something each year with regards to #WMHD16. This year is no different with the exception that I am writing from the perspective of someone currently trying to crawl her way out of the black hole known as depression. Don’t get me wrong – I battle my mental health issues every day but right now it feels like I’m sinking further into the black hole rather than reaching for a light that seems so far away (see my post from late Saturday night for an explanation).
I’m not here to go into detail about my personal journey with MH because that’s something I write about on a regular basis. I’m here to write about the person I am behind the mental illness. I’m here to signpost places of support for people who are struggling alone. I’m here to keep the conversation going about mental health.
I work full-time in admin and part-time in youth work with a really amazing group of young people (and staff). I have a somewhat useless degree in Criminology and what some may describe as an unhealthy interest in crime (reading about it, not being involved). Some of my favourite things to do include; drinking copious amounts of coffee, going to McDonald’s after the gym, lifting weights (I know, I know), playing piano, looking at holidays I can’t afford, having my own silent discos (please don’t judge me) and bingeing on Netflix (Community/Gilmore Girls is where it’s at).
I am a daughter, a sister, a niece, a cousin. I am a best friend. I am a colleague. I’m kind, loyal, trustworthy, hilarious, stubborn and quite sarcastic. I try to be a good friend and will go out of my way to help people in whatever way I can.
I am not my mental illness. I am not my thoughts. I am not my OCD. I am not my anxiety. I am not my depression. I am an awesome human being that just happens to have those conditions.
If you are struggling with a mental health condition today, please know that you are not alone. Just take a look at my blog. Take a look at the #WMHD16 hashtag on Twitter. There are millions of us in the same boat. 1 in 4 people experience a mental health problem each year.
You are worthy and deserving of help, even if it doesn’t feel like that. You are not defined by your mental health. You, too, are an awesome human being. When you have good days and feel a bit like your ‘old self’ (for want of a better phrase), hold on to that with all your might because that’s what gets you through the bad – you are still you. Never give up hope because your story isn’t over yet.
If you haven’t sought help and want to do so, please take a look at some of the websites below – they are so helpful and some have online chats or phone numbers if you’re in crisis. Ultimately it is your choice as to how you cope with your mental health but talking to someone does help, I can promise you that; a problem shared is a problem halved after all. Help is out there for you in so many different forms.